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Green and Gold Again: Vikings Hurler Heath Fillmyer Signs With Oakland Athletics


WEST WINDSOR – Mercer County Community College (MCCC) pitcher Heath Fillmyer will be able to hang on to his old workout clothes, as he will be trading the green and gold of Mercer for the green and gold of the Oakland Athletics after coming to contract terms with the team on June 30.

Fillmyer was selected in the fifth round of the Major League Baseball draft on June 6 (162nd overall) by the A’s after leading the MCCC Vikings team to the Junior College World Series, posting a 9-0 record and a 0.68 ERA. In 2013 he was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the eighth round, but opted to return to Mercer for a second season.

“The Oakland A’s organization is getting an extremely competitive, hard-working player,” said Mercer baseball head coach Kevin Kerins. “His work ethic and competitive style was contagious within our team.”

Although drafted as a pitcher following his freshman year, Fillmyer primarily served as a middle infielder at Mercer, pitching fewer than 10 innings in 2013. In 2014 he shifted his focus almost exclusively to pitching, logging 66 innings and racking up 94 strikeouts with a fastball that touched the mid-90s.

After Fillmyer’s name was called on the MLB Network on draft day, commentators noted that the fact that he is new to pitching is a plus for the Oakland organization.

“I believe Heath’s best days are ahead of him,” Kerins said. “He’s only been a pitcher for one season, and is just starting to come into his own.  We are proud to have him represent our college and program.”

Heath Fillmyer

Mercer pitcher Heath Fillmyer was selected in the fifth round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Oakland Athletics.

In an interview with the Athletics Nation website, A’s scouting director Eric Kubota noted Fillmyer’s “very good fastball and above average curveball” as the reason the organization was willing to spend a high-round draft pick on his availability.

In addition to the Junior College World Series appearance, Fillmyer’s post-season honors include Region 19 Player of the Year, National Junior College Athletic Association Pitcher of the Year, and First-Team All-American.

Over the past three years, two Vikings baseball players – Fillmyer twice – have been selected in the MLB draft. In 2011, pitcher James Pugliese was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 18th round, and is currently pitching for the organization’s Class A affiliate, the Kane County Cougars, in Geneva, Ill., where he is 3-0 with a 1.24 ERA. During that same time period, the Mercer baseball program has sent more than 30 players to four-year schools, many of whom have received athletic scholarships.



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